Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program

Fargo Trains Orthopedic Physical Therapists

The mission of the Sanford Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program - Fargo is to prepare physical therapists who use best available evidence, and demonstrate and practice advanced clinical skills in the area of orthopedic physical therapy to optimally facilitate the health and healing of the patients we serve.


The Sanford Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program - Fargo will be an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) accredited program regionally and nationally recognized for providing exceptional orthopedic physical therapy and education.

Program Goals

  1. Train licensed physical therapists to become specialists in the area of orthopedic physical therapy.
  2. Provide the best possible evidence based physical therapy services to the patients we serve taking into account the importance of clinical experience and patient values.
  3. Facilitate optimal clinical outcomes to physical therapy interventions.
  4. Contribute to the body of knowledge in the area of orthopedic physical therapy.
  5. Uphold the ethical standards and demonstrate professionalism as outlined in the APTA's Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist.


  1. Enrolled residents who have successfully met all residency requirements: 100%
  2. Pass rate for residents who have taken the orthopedic certification exam: 100%

Learn more and download the program brochure.

View the Financial Fact Sheet


Program Information

General Information

What to Expect from the Residency Program

Credentialing: Sanford Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program-Fargo is an APTA credentialed orthopedic residency program.

Credentialing Conferred: Upon successful completion, the resident will receive a certificate of completion of post professional residency in orthopedic physical therapy.

Length of Study: 12 months

Tuition: none

Salary: Resident will be a paid employee of Sanford Health. Pay will reflect time spent with mentors, for didactic course work, research, presentations, projects, and mentoring time.

Benefits: Residents will receive full-time benefits through Sanford Health including but not limited to: health and dental insurance, short/long term disability, paid time off, life insurance, and employee retirement plan.

Location: Sanford Clinic Southpointe Physical Therapy, 2400 32nd Ave. S., Fargo, ND

Overview: This program will provide residents with accelerated study in the area of orthopedic physical therapy to prepare for advanced clinical practice and successful completion of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties Orthopedic Specialist Certification Exam. The program includes one on one clinical mentoring, didactic education, as well as participation in research and presentations. Sanford Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program-Fargo partners with the University of North Dakota Department of Physical Therapy for portions of the didactic educational experience.

Admission Requirements

Residents must:

  • Be graduates of a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited physical therapy program by the start of the residency year.
  • Hold a current physical therapy license for the state of North Dakota effective by the start of the residency year.
  • Be a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
  • Complete at least one student affiliation in the area of outpatient orthopedics or 6 months of clinical experience in outpatient orthopedics.
  • Meet qualification requirements to perform high velocity, low amplitude thrust manual therapy as outlined in the North Dakota Physical Therapy Practice Act.

The Admissions Committee will select residents who:

  • Exhibit high standards of professional behaviors, leadership potential and desire.
  • Demonstrate strong potential for exceptional clinical reasoning in the application of examination and treatment related to orthopedic practice.
  • Demonstrate strong communication skills.
  • Present favorable letters of reference.
  • Are committed to the physical therapy profession and orthopedic specialization.

Application Process

See What You Need to Apply

We are currently accepting applications December 1, 2023 - January 31, 2024. Applications are accepted using the Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Services (PTCAS).

Only completed applications will be accepted. Applications should also include a personal statement (limit two pages.)

Please send personal statements to Scott Brown via email.

If you have additional questions, please contact Scott Brown at (701) 234-7902 or email him.

All completed applications will be reviewed within 60 days of the published deadline. Selected applicants for interview will be contacted by phone, in person, or online.

Acceptance into the program is pending that candidate meets all conditions of employment of Sanford Health System.

Applicants will be notified of their status in the program in writing within 60 days of the published deadlines.

Important dates:

  • Accepting applications December 1, 2023 - January 31, 2024
  • Interview date: Monday, February 19, 2024
  • Program dates: August 5, 2024 - August 1, 2025


Didactic Curriculum

See What Your Course of Study Looks Like

Residents receive didactic training in orthopedic physical therapy related topics. At the completion of this program, residents will demonstrate competence in all areas as described in the current American Board of Physical Therapy Specialist’s (ABPTS) description of advanced specialty practice in orthopedic physical therapy.

A variety of learning experiences are used including: self-directed study, lecture, presentations, teaching experience, and interactive learning. Some content is taught by faculty of the University of North Dakota Department of Physical Therapy.

Learning topics include:

  1. Basic Statistics for Understanding the Physical Therapy Literature
  2. Frontiers in Orthopedic Science
    • Telehealth and Virtual Reality in Musculoskeletal Practice
    • The Science Interfacing Engineering Technology and Rehabilitation
    • The Science of Neuromuscular Healing
    • The Science of Regenerative Rehabilitation
  3. Post-operative management of Orthopedic Surgeries
  4. Diagnostic Imaging
  5. Current Concepts of Orthopedic Physical Therapy
    • Clinical Reasoning and Evidence Based Practice
    • Shoulder
    • Elbow
    • Wrist and Hand
    • TMJ
    • Cervical Spine
    • Thoracic Spine and Ribs
    • Lumbar Spine
    • Pelvis and SI Joint
    • Hip
    • Knee
    • Foot and Ankle